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MARTHA SEZ: Biff: ‘Stay home and work on your own country’

November 2, 2018
By MARTHA ALLEN , Lake Placid News

"I kissed goodbye the howling beast on the borderline which separated you from me."

-Bob Dylan, from "Idiot Wind"

Some people have no boundaries. Biff says, why does everybody want to come pouring across our borders, into the United States, like some kind of stew pot boiling over on the stove, when they have a country of their own? Stay home and work on your own country, is what Biff says.

Another thing Biff was saying the other day, why can't they talk English? Don't come over here and talk your own language so nobody else can understand you and then expect Biff to give you a handout.

"No one is expecting a handout from you, Francis," his mom says.

Now, there are some people who want to put up electrified fences all along the border, and Biff and I were watching this guy on television saying we should zap illegals or undocumented foreigners at the border with lasers, and I laughed out loud because it made me think of Dr. Evil, you know, on Austin Powers, when Scott Evil gave him the sharks with lasers attached to them. So then Biff says, what's so darn funny, indicating by this that he agrees with the guy on TV, and then Biff's mom says, "Well, sir, what if some of us want to go over there for fun to see the sights and then we get electrocuted or tased or something? When we girls go traveling (she has a pack of old chums that get together and go on trips), we don't need that kind of aggravation."

So Biff says, "No, Ma, they don't get you going out, they get the foreigners coming in."

"I don't see the difference," she says, getting her back up.

"Well, there's a big difference," Biff says. "They're not going to zap everybody at the border, especially not a bunch of old American ladies."

"There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip," Biff's mom says mysteriously.

"Once they start zapping, they don't know where to stop," she says. " I wouldn't feel safe."

Then Biff says something about how safe would you feel with a lot of terrorists getting into America and blowing things up, and his mom says, "Well, I think some of them are very nice."

"You think terrorists are nice?" Biff says, but he knows that's not what his mom means. That's just the way he talks when he's feeling argumentative and is biding his time until he can think of something good to say.

"Plus, I am not that old," his mom adds.

"No, you are certainly not old, Terry," contributes her friend Madeline, who has just popped over for a glass or so of pinot grigio. Usually Biff's mom and Madeline drink white wine in the summer and red wine in the winter. Right now it is fall, between seasons, and even though we just had our first snow, it's still pinot grigio.

"I have to say," Biff's mom comments, pushing the little spigot on the wine box, "that I sometimes can't believe I have a son the age of Biff. Think of it, Madeline, my baby is middle-aged!"

Biff's mom likes to show off like this in front of her friends. She and Madeline both laugh the way they do together. It's very high-pitched.

"You know, Biff, they contribute to our economy," Madeline points out. "I don't know where we'd be without our-neighbors from across the border."

"I wish they'd stay on their own side," Biff says.

"You should be glad some of them didn't stay on the other side," his mom tells him. "My grandmother didn't speak a word of English when she came. And her mother was Native American."

"Now, wait," Biff says. "Aunt Marie said that isn't true about our family being Native American."

"Your aunt Marie was mistaken," his mom says. She thinks it's rude to say someone is wrong. You're supposed to say they're mistaken.

"They take jobs away," Biff insists.

"What kind of jobs?" I ask, because I can't think of any, and he says, "Well, they're flooding the market with maple syrup, for one thing."

"Oh, what do you care? You don't make enough syrup to put in your eye," his mom says. She doesn't object to being rude in some instances.

"Yes, Daddy spoke French at home," she says, "but he forgot it all. I think we should go up to Ottawa this winter, Madeline."

Have a good week.



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